Mortgage Refinancing Activity Reaches 3-Year High

By Kerri Ann Panchuk

The number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. edged up a slight 0.9 percent for the week ending July 20 as refinance activity hit a three-year high, an industry trade group said.

The Mortgage Bankers Association noted its refinance index grew 2 percent from the previous week, its highest level since April 2009. Meanwhile, home purchases slowed with the seasonally adjusted purchase index falling 3 percent from the previous week.

Refinance activity made up 81 percent of all mortgage applications, a slight increase from 80 percent a week earlier.

In addition, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance held steady at 3.74 percent, its lowest rate in history. The 30-year, FRM for jumbo loans grew to 3.99 percent from 3.98 percent, while the 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA fell to 3.52 percent from 3.55 percent.

The 15-year, FRM fell to 3.07 percent from 3.12 percent, and the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs declined to 2.68 percent from 2.71 percent.

See also:
Barbara Corcoran on Refinancing Do's and Don'ts

Despite Record Low Rates, Refinancing May Not Be Best Bet

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